The secret to any good animal photo, whether it’s a bird, giraffe, monkey, or dog, is making sure that the eyes are in focus and properly exposed. Since animals usually move around however they want and don’t necessarily pose for the camera, that can be a problem. But, as Rick Sammon says, if the eyes aren’t in focus and properly exposed, you’ve missed the shot. And let me tell you, I’ve missed the shot plenty of times. But it’s our failures that make us appreciate our successes, right? Personally, I also prefer animal photos where the animal’s eyes are focused on something away from the camera. The photo of this big cat was taken at Chapultepec Zoo in Mexico City.